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PIMCITY: BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION PERSONAL DATA PLATFORMS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PIMCITY (PIMCITY: BUILDING THE NEXT GENERATION PERSONAL DATA PLATFORMS)

Reporting period: 2019-12-01 to 2021-05-31

The web economy has been revolutionized by unprecedented possibility of collecting massive amounts of user personal data, which lead the web to become the largest data market and created the biggest companies in our history. Unfortunately, this change has deep consequences for users, who, deprived of any negotiation power, are compelled to blindly provide their data for free access to services.
Data collection is opaque, fragmented and disharmonic, so that users have no control over their personal data, and, thus, on their privacy. Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) aim to give users back control over their data, while creating transparency in the market. However, so far, they have failed to reach business maturity and sizeable user bases. PIMCity offers tools to change this scenario.

First, we implement a PIMS development kit (PDK) to commoditize the complexity of creating PIMS. This lowers the barriers for companies and SME to enter the web data market.
Second, we design and deploy novel mechanisms to increase users' awareness: (i) the Transparency Tags (TT) show users essential information about the services they access, in a simple and easy to understand manner; (ii) the Personal Data Avatar (PDA) is an intuitive means for users to control the information shared to third parties. Third, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the above tools by engineering EasyPIMS, our fully-fledged PIMS. We commit to build the largest-ever transparent data marketplace implementing and demonstrating EasyPIMS with hundred of thousands of end-users, collaborating with advertisers and operators in the web market. We strongly believe that an open market for data will only flourish if we stop the arms race between users and services.

According to the above, in PIMCity, we commit to design a new fair and safe data economy, implementing and releasing TRL 7 prototypes of its components, and demonstrating how it works with real end users, advertisers and operators in the area. Our objectives can be shortly summarized as follows:

Technological Objectives:
1. We will design, implement, demonstrate, and release the PIMS Development Kit (PDK), containing easy to use, interoperable, and portable software components that can be used for building new PIMS, or extending existing ones, quickly and inexpensively. Our components will cover common PIMS needs, i.e. consent management, data storage and management, data privacy, access control and revocation, privacy protection and privacy preserving analytics among others. Open API will allow access to components in a seamless manner.
2. We will build EasyPIMS, a fully-fledged PIMS for controlling, visualising, releasing, and monetizing web and mobility data, and demonstrate how easy it is to combine off-the-shelf components from the PDK with a limited amount of ad hoc code to create fast and economically powerful real world PIMS.
3. We will integrate components from the PDK to the CLIQZ and GDATA PIMS (already available in the consortium), and demonstrate how easy it is to extend existing platforms with new functionalities from our PDK.

Business Development Objectives:
4. Building on the technology produced within the project, CLIQZ and GDATA expect to reach user bases of several hundred thousands of users in three years with 5x annual growing rate in the worst case. Such growth will attract the interest of data buyers involved whose number is expected to grow by a factor 10 in three years, and allow GDATA and CLIQZ to reach millions of euros in revenue. In addition, we will bootstrap EasyPIMS by automatically importing user data from Telco providers, without requiring user intervention, mental effort, or time for anything but granting consent. For this, we will also carefully craft promoting campaigns, potentially based on monetary incentives via gift cards.
5. We will show how to further grow the user base of EasyPIMS by eliciting the help of its own users who will become the platform’s best advocates having found in it a wealth of valuable services including: enhanced personal data protection in compliance with GDPR; economic benefits through fair payments for use of their data by online services; “quantify self” analytics and intuitive dashboards that will use raw browsing, calling, and mobility data to inform users about their habits and help them lead a healthier life both online and offline. Offered analytics will help users answer questions like: do I walk enough each day? Do I get enough sleep? Am I socially connected or isolated? Am I receiving balanced news or am I trapped in a filter bubble?
6. We will show how to build PIMS technology and business models that stay clear of privacy-related arms races by including and providing requirements from the beginning for all the stakeholders of the personal data monetisation ecosystem, including the end users (represented by AUI), the information collectors (represented by FW and Telefonica), the advertising sector (represented by IAB affiliates and CLIQZ), and the technology providers at the platform (represented by ERMES, CLIQZ and GDATA), and machine learning/analytics services (represented by NEC, LSTECH, IMDEA, POLITO, UC3M), in perfect accordance to regulations and data protection best-practice (granted and checked by KUL).
During this time, we have worked to define the architecture of the PIMS Development Kit (PDK) modules. We have collected end-user requirements involving more than 240 people that answered a questionnaire. The results underline the need for a user-centric development of the technologies to support informed decisions.
Starting from this, we have defined the requirements of each PDK module, which we released to the public on the GitLab page https://gitlab.com/pimcity.
We offer tools to improve users' privacy (the Personal Data Safe and the Personal Consent Manager that allows users to store their data and define how to share them; and the Privacy Metrics and the Personal Privacy-Preserving Analytics modules that allow to process data under privacy constraints), tools to provide value and trade to data (the Data Valuation Tools that allow obtaining an estimate of the personal data, and the Data Trading Engine that supports the creation of a data marketplace), and tools for improved data management (Data Aggregation, Data Provenance, Data Portability Control, that allows to process data and obtain aggregate information).
All the modules offer Open API - well documented and ready to be used for developers.

In parallel, we worked on dissemination, with more than 20 technical and scientific contributions in top conferences and journals, and presentations, online seminars, workshops where we presented the technology and collected feedback from the community.
We are now working on the definition of the EasyPims - our demonstrators that will build on the top of the PDK modules to offer a fully-fledged PIMS solution. We target both the B2B and the B2C use cases. This will allow us to collect feedback from people involved in the testing and gather socio-economic impact and foresee wider societal implications.
Modules of the PIMS Development Kit